Transylvania, that land of legends, often associated with monsters, vampires and ghouls, is, in fact, a land of unmistakable beauty, history, and culture. It’s a cradle of treasures, many kept in almost pristine condition by locals who are proud of their ancestry, and preserve traditions with passion and care. Religion is one of these treasures, and places of worship are among Transylvania’s most cherished monuments.
There are seven UNESCO protected villages with fortified churches in Transilvania: Biertan, Câlnic, Dârjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor and Viscri. Today, we make a stop in Saschiz, in Mureş County.
The small 14th century commune of Saschiz is not entirely an unknown attraction, especially not when it comes to the British Royal Family. Prince Charles visits the place often, a godsend for local tourism, and he is not the only celebrity to find joy in the pleasures of the simple life here. Many visitors don’t spend the night, preferring accommodation in nearby Sighisoara, the town where Vlad the Impaler (who inspired the famed Dracula vampire character) was born, which is 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Saschiz.
First documented in the 14th century, Saschiz is known for its medieval fortress and church constructed by Transylvanian Saxons. The fortress dominates the landscape, and guards the area from atop a hill overlooking the village.
The fortress dates from 1347, and although today it is in ruin, you can still see some of its main features, attesting how well the Saxon community of the time was organized. The fortress had five towers, each serving a different purpose, as reflected by their names: the School Tower, the Munitions Tower, the Voivode Tower, the Priests Tower and the Guard Tower. Another interesting detail of the fortress is the ruin of a fountain , which probably connected to the center of the village, via a subterranean tunnel.
The late 15th-century fortified church of Cloașterf village, one of the three villages making the Saschiz commune (Saschiz, Mihai Viteazu and Cloasterf), has Gothic details and an imposing clock. The church was built between 1493 – 1496, by Saxon colonists, as an Evangelic Church. From the outside, the church appears to be a fortress, but the defensive destination of the monument is surpassed by the beauty of its Gothic elements of architecture. Its fortifications served well the local community, as the church was ofthen the main refuge for the inhabitants of Saschiz when the village was under attack.
The imposing clock tower is the symbol of Saschiz, and its most important landmark. Widely considered one of Transylvania’s most beautiful medieval monuments, this is the main touristic attraction of the village. Other than the fortified church, and the ruins of the medieval fortress, Saschiz doesn’t have important tourist landmarks to speak of. Instead, the village preservers the rural lifestyle that makes Transylvania such a bucolic destination.
The village of Saschiz is situated on the European road E60, 20 km away from Sighisoara and 100 km away from Brasov. For travelers who want to find accommodation in the area, Rounite recommends Pensiunea Violeta; Hanul Cetatii; or Pensiunea Cartref Saschiz.
[SGM lat=”46.19503″ lng=”24.958719″ zoom=”14″ type=”TERRAIN” directionsto=”Saschiz, Romania” content=”<strong>Rounite</strong> Saschiz, Romania ]